While Greek cuisine is often associated with meat and dairy, there's also a thriving vegan scene that draws on the country's abundant produce and plant-based ingredients. From hearty stews to refreshing salads and sweets, there's no shortage of vegan dishes to savor in Greece.
Here are some of the top vegan dishes to try on your next trip to Greece:
Dolmades - grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, and sometimes pine nuts or currants.
Gigantes Plaki - giant white beans cooked in a rich tomato sauce with herbs and vegetables.
Fava - a dip made from yellow split peas, olive oil, lemon, and herbs.
Melitzanosalata - a smoky eggplant dip that's similar to baba ghanoush.
Tzatziki - a cucumber and garlic dip that can be made vegan by using plant-based yogurt.
Gemista - stuffed vegetables (usually tomatoes, peppers, or zucchini) filled with rice, herbs, and sometimes mushrooms or tofu.
Briam - a baked vegetable dish with tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and zucchini.
Spanakopita - a savory pie filled with spinach, onions, and fennel, wrapped in crispy phyllo dough.
Fasolakia - green beans stewed with tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.
Lahanorizo - a hearty cabbage and rice stew seasoned with lemon, dill, and other herbs.
Loukoumades - fluffy fried dough balls drizzled with honey or syrup.
Halva - a sweet and nutty fudge made from sesame seeds and sugar.
Baklava - a classic dessert made from layers of phyllo dough, nuts, and syrup (can be made vegan by using plant-based butter).
Rizogalo - a creamy rice pudding flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.
Koulourakia - buttery cookies flavored with orange, vanilla, or anise (can be made vegan by using plant-based butter and milk).
Souvlaki - grilled skewers of vegetables, tofu, or seitan, served with pita bread and tzatziki (can be made vegan by using plant-based yogurt).
Dakos - a Cretan specialty made from crispy barley rusks topped with tomatoes, capers, and olives.
Lachanontolmades - cabbage rolls filled with rice, herbs, and sometimes mushrooms or tofu.
Koulouri - a type of sesame-covered bread that's often sold by street vendors.
Revithada - a chickpea stew that's popular in the Cyclades islands.
Fasolada - a hearty soup made from white beans, vegetables, and herbs.
Horiatiki - a classic Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, and feta (can be made vegan by omitting the cheese).
Dakos Salad - a variation of the traditional dakos, where the rusks are topped with tomato, cucumber, onion, capers, and sometimes vegan cheese.
Revithia - a chickpea soup that's often flavored with lemon and dill.
Lahanosalata - a salad made from shredded cabbage, carrots, and herbs, dressed with lemon and olive oil.
While exploring Greece, we discovered some hidden gems for vegan dining that we highly recommend. In Athens, Mama Tierra is a cozy vegan restaurant that serves up delicious Greek classics like moussaka and pastitsio, as well as international dishes like pad thai and burritos. In Crete, Avocado is a vegan-friendly cafe that offers a range of healthy and tasty options, from smoothie bowls to vegan burgers. And on the island of Santorini, Falafeland offers delicious vegan falafel wraps and salads that are perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.
The vegan dining scene in Greece is thriving and diverse, with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a long-time vegan or just curious to try something new, the flavors and textures of traditional Greek cuisine are sure to delight your taste buds. So why not plan your next trip to Greece and explore this rich and vibrant culinary landscape for yourself?